New7Wonders charges Indonesia with misleading the public

FACING the possibility of a lawsuit (TTG Asia e-Daily, February 10, 2011), organiser New7Wonders (N7W) has charged that the Indonesia’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism has been misleading the public.

In a statement to TTG Asia e-Daily, N7W spokesman Eamonn Fitzgerald took issue with the ministry’s denial of recognising and endorsing the private sector consortium (PC) which signed an agreement with N7W.

He highlighted two letters received by N7W, dated August 25, 2010 and September 6, 2010, which mentioned the office was working with a prominent entity referred to as Lolita Lita Anugerah Foundation – the PC.

Fitzgerald said the US$45 million claimed by the ministry to be the cost of hosting the official winner’s announcement was also inaccurate as the PC had offered N7W US$10 million for the licence fee, which the ministry was expected to support. The PC would then fund the production through a normal commercial agreement.

“The ministry has in fact acted to destroy the image and reputation of Indonesia, by making pledges it would not back up,” he added.

The ministry’s director-general of marketing Sapta Nirwandar declined to comment further. “We have left the matter with our lawyer,” he said.

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